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Is there child care assistance for student parents?

    If you’re in college and have children, the number of responsibilities you must handle daily may be overwhelming. Financial assistance for child care can be a huge help, and the good news here is that you may be eligible for child care financial assistance if you’re enrolled as a student.

    In this article, we’ll discuss some federal and other programs that assist with child care for student parents so you can access help if you’re ultimately eligible.

    Are there federal programs for child care assistance for student parents?

    The federal government funds the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program, which provides funds to institutions to help establish or support campus-based child care programs. This program is designed for low-income student parents to assist with child care.

    To participate, you must be a low-income student parent eligible to receive the federal Pell Grant — a need-based grant provided by the federal government.

    Some resources for more information on the program and how it works can be found on the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s website and the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

    Are there state programs for child care assistance for student parents?

    The availability of state-sponsored child care assistance programs for student parents depends on the state. For example, in Texas, there’s a program offered by the Texas Workforce Commission that provides financial aid (also known as a subsidy) for child care to families who meet certain income requirements.

    Check your state's workforce or office of children and family services websites to try to find information on programs specific to the state where you live. It can be useful to expand your search beyond just child care assistance for student parents as you do this.

    Other child care assistance for student parents

    Even if your school doesn’t participate in federal or state child care programs, reach out to your college’s financial aid office to find out if they have other resources or programs that might help. For instance, some colleges offer daycare. There may even be child care assistance scholarships you could be eligible for.

    General financial aid for student parents

    Beyond exploring child care assistance programs, it can be helpful to be aware of the myriad of financial aid options to help pay for school that might be available to you more generally. Private institutions, federal and state governments, and schools offer financial aid you may be eligible for.

    The first step to becoming eligible for most forms of financial aid is to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Schools use the FAFSA® to award all forms of federal financial aid like federal grants, student loans, and work-study.

    Beyond filing the FAFSA®, it may be worth exploring additional grants and scholarships to consider applying for. Scholarships and grants provide money for school that doesn’t need to be repaid in most cases. There may even be grants and scholarships available specifically for student parents.

    Final thoughts

    Child care can be a high cost you have to consider in addition to college tuition if you’re a student parent. Beyond seeking out resources to help you pay for child care, it’s a good idea to complete your FAFSA® to see if you’re eligible for federal financial assistance for college.